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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Michelle P. on March 12, 2011
"This post is a Grab Bag which uses the following words: head start, cranky, reluctant, crossword, congratulatory"

The Call

I began my day as I always do: waking up at 5:30 AM in a vain attempt to get a head start on the day. Needless to say, I can be pretty cranky; that is, if I haven't had my coffee. Sometimes I'm reluctant to get up, but I tell myself, "If I let myself go this morning, I'll start a bad habit, and I need to get used to the routine."

See, I've just started a new job. It's nothing special; I'm what some would call a "code monkey," a programmer at a small software firm. We're not very big; fewer than 250 employees right now, I think, but if things keep going well with the project we're working on, hopefully we an expand. And I can get promoted.

I sat there taking my time (I don't have to be at the office until 7:00) and drinking my morning coffee like I always do, giving the crossword in the morning a paper a try to help wake up my brain. That was when I got the call.

"Phil Johnson?"
"Speaking. How may I help you?" My training from months and years of entry-level tech support had kicked in.

It was my boss. I have to admit, I hadn't expected a call like this at 6 AM. Normally, at that time of morning, it's usually bad news: a distant relative is in trouble, one of my friends needed help, or --and I was hoping this wasn't the case, either--it was the call telling me not to come in that morning because I had been let go. Quite the contrary, actually; I hadn't expected congratulatory news at all.

He continued, "I have good news and bad news. Which do you ant to hear first?"

"Um...bad news, I guess." I replied confusedly.

He continued. "We had to let someone go--the chief of the project that you were working on." 'About time,' I thought to myself. The guy was a major slacker; I wondered why they even hired him. My boss then said, "The good news is that we've decided to let you take his spot as project manager. Congratulations. See you in a little while, Phil."

"Sure...that's great. See you, Joe." I hung up. The promotion was a nice surprise, but it meant a lot more responsibility. As a manager now, I could-and had to-make some serious decisions. Which meant that maybe we could stay on schedule. Motivated by the good news, I got up to shower and get dressed before grabbing some breakfast on my way to work. It had started out as a good day.

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